Morecambe’s first ever UKIP councillor has described his election win as “a foot in the door” for his party.
Steven Ogden, who won the Morecambe Town Council by-election for Westgate ward by just one vote on a recount, said his victory could pave the way for more UKIP success at local elections in 2015.
Mr Ogden, 36, runs Oggy’s Cycles bike shop on Regent Road with his wife Michelle and mum Jean.
His win echoed the national picture in council elections where the UK Independence Party made huge gains, and in the European Elections where they won most seats.
“We have candidates ready and waiting for next year,” said Mr Ogden, who said he was inspired to join UKIP after “being forced to do European Studies for two years at college”.
“I realised my head was being filled with propaganda.
“I am anti-European Union, which is a big difference between being anti-Europe.
“We’re not against all immigration. We don’t want open door immigration.
“As Nigel Farage says, it’s all about quality not quantity. We don’t want people coming in and sponging off the welfare state.”
A hat was on standby for a random draw had the by-election ended in a dead heat, as was the case after two counts.
But then a recount revealed a spoiled ballot paper, handing Mr Ogden the win over Labour candidate Alan Biddulph by a single vote.
The result was: Steven Thomas Ogden (UK Independence Party) 498, Alan Biddulph (Labour) 497, Terry Ingle (Morecambe Bay Independents) 308
The by-election was held after Dave Andrew stepped down due to ill-health. The town council is now made up of 12 Morecambe Bay Independents, 7 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat, 1 UKIP, 4 Independents and 1 from Morecambe Matters.